Apart from strength training and warm-up exercises, the runner’s diet also plays a key role in maintaining the overall health and fitness. The range of micro-nutrients they need cannot be sourced from limited food options. At the same time, every runner is different and responds differently to different types of food and nutrition plans. That’s why you have to research thoroughly and find what works best for you in terms of performance, training preferences, and personal compatibility.

PRE-RUN FOOD

A short and sweet run is not taxing. It demands no or very little pre-run food. In fact, for an easy run (30 minutes or less at a relaxed and comfortable pace), a glass of water is all you need before you head out because most of the energy comes from glycogen stored in your muscles.

On the contrary, for longer runs and high-intensity workouts, the options are high-carb, low-fat, and high-fiber food. The carbs keep you energized throughout the run while low-fat food ensures the right amount of fatty food intake. High-fiber food combats bad cholesterol and promotes digestion. The combination of three makes for a perfect runner’s diet.

The Choices are:

1. Oatmeal with skimmed milk:

Milk provides protein; both cereal and milk have carbs to keep you energized.

2. Banana

The potassium and fluid in the fruit help you stay hydrated.

3. Bread and Jam or peanut butter

The nut butter offers heart-healthy fat plus carbs. That’s how it completes several nutrition requirements of those who run regularly.

POST-RUN FOOD

Regular running often leads to some wear and tear in your muscles. After running, consumption of food becomes a continuation of the recovery process. Don’t wait for hours. Consuming macronutrients within 30 to 45 minutes after exercise is ideal. As a matter of fact, for the post-run meal, research recommends a 3:1 to 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. This can be adjusted to meet your personal needs and preferences. Running drains a good amount of energy from your body – so a carbohydrates-kick is essential. Proteins help in repairing the body cells and regaining the lost strength.

The Choices are:

1. Energy Drink

Bounce back to your normal active state with a replenishing energy drink.

2. Chocolate Milk

A good chocolate drink is ‘Taste meets Nutrition’.

3. Egg, Chicken or Cheese Sandwich

The right mix of carbs and proteins combats your tiredness after every run.

4. Yogurt & Almonds

Get that energy boost with a good intake of essential proteins.

Consuming the right nutrients at the right time is just as important as the training itself. The damage caused during physical movements is majorly resolved by following a strategic diet plan.

Mohamed Idris
Author
Mohamed Idris | ASICS Running Coach | Three-time Champion Of Bahrain Marathon
After spending more than two decades in the Middle East, Idris came back to India in 2014. One eureka moment woke up the runner in him and then he never looked back. From national to international, Idris has championed a host of marathons.
  • He has won Asian Masters Champion in 3 categories
  • He has also been an age group winner in the TCS 10K marathon
  • He also become the Ironman Malaysia Finisher in 2010 (3.8km Swim, 180km Cycle, 42.2km Run)
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